Sometimes trades happen that you’re sure must have taken place because one of the GMs was having trouble with his fantasy team. And yes, of course franchise brass play fantasy basketball. How else do small market GMs expect to get their hands on guys like LeBron and ‘Melo? It sure won’t be through real-life trades, brosephus. Dell Demps, like many of us, got to the 12th round of his fantasy draft, needed another point guard and chose Jose Calderon. Then he spent the next three-and-a-half weeks pissed at Jay Triano for timesharing him with Jarrett Jack. The result of that frustration? Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless head north to Toronto while Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks all get to look forward to comparing Canadian benches to American ones. So far this season, Jack has been a mildly more valuable fantasy asset, and even if he plays backup to both guard positions, he’s not worth as much as he was three days ago and he wasn’t worth a ton three days ago. After Saturday’s trade, it’s clear now who to own. By most estimates (most = only mine) Calderon should improve from the 8/2/5 line in 22 mpg he’s displayed thus far into a 12/3/8 solid second PG. And that’s a conservative estimate. He’s a .492 career shooter from the floor shooting sub-.400 right now. How long do you suspect that’ll last when he becomes comfortable and fully invested as a leader of this team? The only other real impact to fantasy this trade offers is to the struggling Linas Kleiza, who will essentially see an older version of himself join the roster in Stojakovic. Sonny Weems may take a smaller hit in minutes, but really, Weems and Kleiza play such different brands of ball that in situational rotations, Stojakovic will impede more on Kleiza’s time.
Anywhoodle, here’s what else went on this weekend in fantasy basketball:
Leandro Barbosa – DroBo returned after a two week hiatus to go 12/1/5 with a pair of steals in 21 minutes. With Jarrett Jack gone, it’s likely that Barbosa will relieve not only DeMar DeRozan, but perhaps Calderon as well at times. Deep leaguers pounce now. Everyone else, give it a few games. I would have mentioned that in today’s headliner but I wanted to make it look like there is a lot more to say about the weekend than there actually is. When I was younger, I also spread my peas around on my dinner plate so it looked like I ate more of them than I did.
Amir Johnson – Went 17/11 in ‘a mere’ (pun!) 24 minutes on Sunday. He averaged a sturdy 13.5/10 over the weekend and has seen his mpg slowly creep up since the beginning of the season. He’s prone to bad games, but so is everyone else on the Raptors.
Nate Robinson – Sugar Nate filled in for Rajon Rondo who missed Sunday’s game and likely tonight’s game with hamstring tightness. He sank three threes (stutterer!) on his way to 22 points. With Delonte West still not at 100 percent and the tendency for hamstring injuries to take longer than expected to heal, you could do worse than adding Robinson for the next few games. Like shoving a stick through the front spokes of your friend’s bike while riding around. That’s you doing worse.
Ty Lawson – Billups sprained his wrist, cracked a tooth, broke his nose, got pregnant and has jury duty. Anyway, it appears as if Lawson will take the reins for at least tonight’s game against Golden State. Yes, this means that you should take Lawson as long as Billups is out. Go. Yes, you. Yes, now.
Luther Head – Has averaged 11.3/4.3/1.7 in 30 mpg since taking over the starting PG spot. Beno Udrih lost that job averaging 13.6/3.3/6 in 35 mpg. Yeah, I don’t get it either. It’s like Don Nelson split himself into different horcruxes and hid them in the coaching staffs in Detroit, Toronto and Sacramento.
Donte Greene – 15/10 from the starting lineup. He’ll probably play nine minutes three games from now and even his name suggests “Don’t(e) pick up Greene,” but he’s currently getting minutes, so you might benefit from riding it out.
Chris Paul – Five steals? Good. Fourteen assists? Good. Seven boards? Five-for-five from the line? Nice. Dat’s niiice. Shooting 2-for-12 from the floor and ending with nine points is like a supermodel with a blackened mouth full of Oreos.
Shannon Brown – Scored 17 points in less than 20 minutes along with three threes. He also hasn’t missed a free throw since October 30 (17-for-17). His PER jumped from 12.4 last season to 18.6 along with his 122 ORtg and 21.5 USG%. Those are all nerdy ways of saying the kid can play. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon he’ll get his shot to shine outside of garbage time.
Pau Gasol – Perfect from the floor (10-for-10), perfect from the line (8-for-8), only one turnover, nine boards, five dimes and four blocks in three quarters of play. Yeah, perfect just about sums up his season thus far. July Me e-mailed me late last night to tell me he’s already working on a top 10 ranking for 2011 in which Gasol is ranked no lower than fourth.
Dwyane Wade – Has a sprained left wrist and might take a powder tonight against the Pacers. To be fair he was probably going to take a powder against the Pacers anyway, but he might not even put on the jersey tonight.
Udonis Haslem – Is it me, or have I heard more breaking stories about other players’ health from LeBron James than from any other source this season? He was the first to spread word about Haslem’s torn ligament on Saturday and I vaguely remember him commenting on another player’s injury about two weeks ago. Anyone remember what I’m talking about? Anyway, It looks like Haslem is done until February and perhaps the bulk of the regular season. Anyone still unconvinced that Bosh’s stats are on the rise? No, I didn’t think so.
JaVale McGee – Season highs 20/16 against the Pistons on Sunday. He’s just as likely to go 7/7 in his next game as he is to come anywhere close to this, but still, it’s nice to know the JaValevator goes up to this floor, no?
Gilbert Arenas – Yeah, John Wall missed most of the five games that Hibachi has averaged 20/6. So what? I’m getting a blonde wig, a bed sheet, and Chris Crocker and we’re making a “Leave Gilbert alone!” video as soon as possible.
Charlie Villanueva – 25/11 with four threes. He’s owned in fewer than 75 percent of fantasy leagues, despite leading the Pistons in scoring in seven of his team’s 13 games and being only one of two forwards averaging two treys and 15+ points this season. He’s averaging 25+ mpg and 18+ ppg over his last five games. A hate-ist might point out that he’s had four good games in that time and one bad one. The bad game was against the Lakers and the four good ones were against the Clippers, Sacramento, Golden State, and Washington. C’mon. No one likes a hate-ist.
Austin Daye – DNP-CD (Daye No Play – Consider Dropping).